Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Warren Buffett: Single-payer system is 'probably the best' for US

That's why I'm a billionaire and you're not That's why I'm a billionaire and you're not
Orlando Vargas | 30 June, 2017, 00:44

Buffett was careful to acknowledge his "limited knowledge" on the health care, but when asked about how legislators should go about fixing Obamacare, he said "I think that [single-payer] is the best system". At that level, it'd be more lucrative for Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.to hold common shares than its preferred stake in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender. Mr. Buffett has said a dividend of this size would prompt his Berkshire Hathaway Inc.to swap its preferred shares in the bank into about $17 billion worth of common stock. The stock closed at $23.88 on Wednesday, implying that Berkshire's common shares would be valued at $16.7 billion.

That is exactly what Buffett did in 2011 when he invested $5 billion of Berkshire's capital in Bank of America in the wake of the financial crisis.

"For Bank of America, it would mean a further endorsement by the most spectacular large-cap stock picker of all time".

Buffett made his comments during an interview with PBS.

Big banks need approval from the Fed to increase their dividends, a process that culminated in Wednesday's annual review of how the lenders would perform under severely stressed economic conditions. At Bank of America's current share price, the stake would hand Berkshire a tidy $11.7 billion profit, at least on paper.

Qatar says working on response to Gulf demands, but says they're unrealistic
The four countries have not provided any evidence for their claim, while Qatar has repeatedly rejected the allegation. Top Gulf diplomats were in Washington on Tuesday as U.S.


Paris climate change accord irreversible and not negotiable - Merkel
The summit was expected to be dominated by Mr Trump's first meeting with Vladimir Putin since his election as U.S. president. Gabriel says he told his Turkish counterpart weeks ago that "we don't think this is a good idea".


Bayern explain why they don't want Sanchez; City path clear
People point to the sales of Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Samir Nasri to Manchester City as evidence of this. Arsene Wenger is resigned to losing him as he fears he will just leave on a free next summer otherwise.


Perhaps even more significant from a general shareholder's point of view, Bank of America also announced that its already-generous buyback program would be more than doubled for 2017.

This week, we got a glimpse into Buffett's first-ever tax and earnings statement, from 1944. Mr. Buffett helped to change that narrative by agreeing to purchase $5 billion in preferred stock and calling the bank "well led", an important endorsement for Mr. Moynihan more than a year after he had risen to the chief-executive role. Additionally, he would get warrants to buy 700 million common shares at $7.14 a piece. Buffett noted in his February letter to investors that he would probably exercise the option once Bank of America raised its annual dividend to 44 cents. Therefore, doing so is a no-brainer from Buffett's perspective.

Now worth more than $37 billion, Buffett continues to file his taxes like a dutiful American.

To be clear, I'm not saying Buffett is necessarily going to make the conversion immediately. The preferred stock paid a chunky 6% annual dividend, or $300 million a year.

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